Have you ever wondered how much everyone else is getting it in compared to you? The new book Sex by Numbers: What Statistics Can Tell Us About Sexual Behaviour is answering all of your questions about, where, when, why, and how often people have sex. The book, written by Professor and Fellow of Churchill College David Speigelhalter, is debunking all of our ideas about what exactly we're doing in the bedroom. The book pulls cutting edge research from the Nastal Survey, which is the largest survey research on sexual behavior since the famous Kinsey Report published in the 1950's. The author combed through many different studies and reports in order to find the most accurate research available, which also included the Pew Research Center and the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles . In fact, Speigelhalter is so convinced of the thoroughness of his work that he called Sex by Numbers “the most comprehensive review ever conducted into the nation’s sexual habits”.
I know that when I was a teenager, I always felt that everyone was having more sex than I was, and I wanted to have sex just so that I could say that I had. No one wants to feel left out and our sex lives can be really tied up in our self-worth, which can make feeling inadequate sexually a huge blow to your confidence as a whole. We all know that there's a lot of pressure to lie about how much sex you've had though, so let's take a look at how you really measure up.
1. We're All Lying About How Many People We're Doing It With
Speigelhalter also conducted his own research for the book and found that men and women lie about how many people they've had sex with. Men tend to say they've had more sexual partners than they've actually had and women tend to say they've had less. He found that the average man reported 14 partners in his lifetime and women reported about half of that. This is obviously a statistical impossibility and the author said that "Surely, if they are having sex with each other, the figures should be exactly the same." Obviously there are those who are not heterosexual, but those who are having sex with other members of the same sex only make up four to six percent of the population, which doesn't account for a difference in reporting this large. Hmm, this seems to be another instance of the sexual double standard influencing our sex lives.
2. Oral Sex Is The New Black
Oral sex seems to be a very popular activity amongst us young people, as 80 percent of those ages 25-35 reported receiving oral sex within the last year. Speigelhalter also cited a 2010 study to explain his own findings that found that oral sex is a more popular activity for those of a higher class status and anal is more popular for those who are of lower class and academic prestige.
3. Couples Are Having Sex Less Than They Used To
If you're in a heterosexual relationship, chances are that you're not having as much sex as those in the 90's. The average straight couple ages 16-44 reported having sex three times a month. This has decreased from an average of five times per month that was found in 1990. The author blames this drop on the increase in the availability of porn, but I think it's because we're all so damn busy these days — seriously, who has time to have great sex every week?
4. The Median Age of First Sex is 16
According to Sex by Numbers, the median age at which people first have sex in Britain is 16, which fits every cliche about virginity ever created. However, remember that a median is the number that appears in the middle of a group, meaning there are just as many greater than it and less than it in that grouping. This means that half of people have sex for the first time before they're 16 and half when they're older. So if you were an early or late bloomer, there's no need to panic.
If you want to learn more statistics about sex or are interested in finding out more information about the book, you can check it out on Amazon.